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Alpine Skiing: Canada's Guay wins Val Gardena downhill

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Canada's Erik Guay rebounded from summer knee surgery to win the men's World Cup downhill at Val Gardena on Saturday, his fourth victory on the global ski circuit.

Guay clocked 1min 56.65sec down the infamous Saslong, one of the five downhill classics, famed for its seven big rolls that propels racers high into the sky.

The Canadian finished 0.12sec ahead of Norway's Kjetil Jansrud, with French racer Johan Clarey (1:56.89) completing the podium.

Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, winner of Friday's super-G and currently the overall World Cup leader, finished fourth, five-hundredths off the podium, with American veteran Bode Miller in fifth.

"It's incredible for me to win today," Guay said. "After all I have gone through this summer, and knowing that I have had knee surgery only this August makes today amazing.

"I had no training until November but Val Gardena has been good to me, I was third here last year and I knew I could do well again.

"With Jan's (teammate Hudec) podium yesterday and my victory today this has been an awesome and fun weekend."

Jansrud may have started off a giant slalom specialist, but the Norwegian has quickly developed into an all-round skier, winning the super-G in Kvitfjell last year and earning two downhill podiums in 2012 (Kvitfjell and Beaver Creek).

"I am very happy with my skiing, especially how I did on top," he said. "I probably shouldn't have been so defensive in the bottom part, I really lost too much time to Erik but I am very happy with my second place.

"After a year of injuries there is nothing to complain about, I now have two downhill podiums and that feels great."

Clarey's third place was only his second career podium, the first coming at the same venue in 2009.

"I was worried this podium might not happen for me today," the French racer said.

"In the past I so often got bumped off the podium and I was worried until almost the very end. I am relieved for once things went my way!"

The men now move on to a giant slalom in nearby Alta Badia on Sunday before a short Christmas break.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131221/alpine-skiing-canadas-guay-wins-val-gardena-downhill-0